During the last week of 2017, The Guardian reported dramatic increases in plastic production capacity and investment, despite various international agreements that purport to diminish the plastic pollution that inevitably finds itself into the world’s oceans, already under tremendous stress.
Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law, stated: “We could be locking in decades of expanded plastics production at precisely the time the world is realising we should use far less of it. Around 99% of the feedstock for plastics is fossil fuels, so we are looking at the same companies, like Exxon and Shell, that have helped create the climate crisis. There is a deep and pervasive relationship between oil and gas companies and plastics.”
Greenpeace senior ocean campaigns director Louise Edge adds: “We are already producing more disposable plastic than we can deal with, more in the last decade than in the entire twentieth century, and millions of tonnes of it are ending up in our oceans.”
With this mind, we turn to artist-beachcomber Sheila Rogers and her powerful 2014 exhibit Oceans of Plastic.
We recall words from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, posing a question that cuts through the senseless blither of human monomania like a razor blade through a jellyfish: